to dwarf the talents and attainments of others of her sex who are by her side. Lady Seymour has no claim to literary distinction. The homage she receives is offered to her beauty, and her social position. Lady Graham is older than these; while Mrs. Phipps is younger. These two were only inferior in beauty to Mrs. Norton and Lady Seymour. In such society you may suppose the hours flew on rosy pinions. It was after midnight when we separated. I will not tell you of dinners or parties with peers or others, who have no particular interest attached to them except a high social position; but come to an incident. At breakfast at Mr. Senior's, a few mornings after the Duke of Wellington's attack on our country, I met a person who was quite brilliant and clever in conversation, and who, in a manner almost rude,—well knowing that I was an American,—followed up the Duke's attack on our country. I never introduce American topics in conversation, but never shun them when introduced by others. I had a passage with him which was, for a moment, slightly unpleasant. I did not know who my opponent was. When we rose from the breakfast-table, he came to me very cordially, and said that he was to write a review of Prescott's ‘Ferdinand and Isabella’ for the ‘Quarterly,’ and he should like to converse with me about the author, the book, its reception in America, and the style of review that would best please the author and our country. When he had said this, I knew that he was Mr. Ford.1 I gave him my card, and he has since called upon me, and discussed the subject at great length. He is a high Tory, who frankly says that he detests republics, and likes the government of Austria better than that of any country, and should be pleased to see it established in England. He has passed several years in Spain, living in Granada, and has made Spanish history and literature a particular study. He married a daughter of the Earl of Essex, and has a very nice place near Exeter, which he has adorned with buildings in the Spanish style. I met him in the same frank way in which he had met me, and at once suggested to him that now was a fair occasion for the ‘Quarterly Review,’ in an article on Prescott, to make the amende honorable to America for its past conduct, and to present a criticism that should do not a little to banish some of the harsh feelings that still existed in the United States toward the Tory journal. He professed his willingness to do all this; and to this end consulted me most minutely, with pencil and paper in his hands, with regard to the points that he might urge. He was disposed to have a page or two of fun about Prescott's Americanisms, of which he says (and Milnes has also told me the same) there are about twenty, chiefly in the notes. To this I simply suggested: ‘Be sure that they are Americanisms, and not English words, the use of which is forgotten here but preserved with us; and consider if some of the words as locate (which I detest myself) are not fairly vindicated by their significance.’
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
1 Richard Ford, 1796-1858; author of ‘Handbook for Spain’ and ‘Gatherings from Spain.’ He visited Spain in 1830, and lived in that country for several years. From 1836 to 1857 he was a contributor to the ‘Quarterly Review.’ His article on Prescott's ‘Ferdinand and Isabella’ is in that Review for Jan., 1839, Vol. LXIV. p. 1-58. He proved to be a less friendly critic than Sumner had hoped.
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